Hertfordshire County Council seventh in pothole compensation pay-outs

A pothole in Yeomanry Drive, Baldock

A pothole in Yeomanry Drive, Baldock - Credit: Archant

A council has paid nearly £100,000 in compensation claims as a result of a rising number of road accidents relating to potholes.

A pothole in Webb Rise, Stevenage

A pothole in Webb Rise, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) paid 1,300 claimants a total of £98,847 in the financial year 2012/13 – the seventh highest compensation bill in the UK.

Peter Horton, managing director of Britannia Rescue, the company that published these statistics, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of underinvestment in our roads and has been exacerbated by recent harsh winters.”

Terry Douris, Cabinet member for highways at HCC, said: “These comparisons between local authorities do not take into account either traffic levels or the size of the road networks.

“Hertfordshire is the busiest county in the country and our roads are under incredible pressure. We have a network of more than 5,000km and very high traffic levels, with millions of car journeys and 2.5 times the national average of lorries using our roads.

“This means that our roads are more expensive to maintain and wear out quicker. This is not unique to Hertfordshire – potholes are a countrywide problem due to a sustained period of national under-funding in road maintenance.

“However, we are continuing to invest heavily in our roads and spend millions every year on pothole repairs. In Hertfordshire we have long championed a proactive approach to maintaining our roads that focuses on prevention rather than cure.”

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Anyone wishing to report a pothole to HCC should contact them via their website www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults or call them on 0300 123 4047.

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